VP8 is a video codec created originally by On2 Technologies, later acquired and released by Google Inc. The search giant released the underlying patents for the VP8 format into the public domain and released the specification under a Creative Commons license. The Free Software Foundation (FSF) had pushed Google to release the VP8 codec in an open letter in March 2010. The letter urged Google to use VP8 with YouTube instead of FLV (flash video format) and H.264.
The VP8 codec was originally announced by On2 Technologies in September 2008 as a replacement for the VP7 codec. Google has since released the VP8 codec (the second On2-developed codec to be open sourced to the free software community after VP3 in 2001) and it is part of the WebM project which aims to develop a royalty-free multimedia format suitable for the web,
VP8 is paired with OGG Vorbis audio in a matroska-like container to make the WebM format. Most major browsers will support WebM including Internet Explorer 9 (with the right codecs installed), Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera.